Neufville, de, family

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De Neufville is an old French family. Robert de Neufville became a Protestant and left his native country, lived in Antwerp in 1545, and in England from 1550 on. During the reign of Mary, when the Protestants were no longer safe in England, a large number of the Reformed found refuge in Holland; but another group, led by John a Lasco, of which Robert de Neufville was a member, vainly sought admission to Copenhagen, Lübeck, Wismar, and Hamburg. In 1554 this company came to Emden and in 1555 to Frankfurt, where Robert de Neufville became elder of the French church in 1573, and where the family became resident and acquired wealth.

One of Robert's 19 children was Daniel de Neufville (b. 1554 at Emden), who went to Holland in 1600, and settled first in Haarlem and then in Amsterdam, where he founded the great mercantile house of the family. At Haarlem he was married to Maeyken Koppens (Coppens) of the Flemish Mennonite congregation. It is not certain, though it is probable, that Daniel became a Mennonite; his many descendants were Mennonites. Most of them lived at Amsterdam, where they were members of the Flemish congregation and after the schism of 1664, of the Lamist congregation. By marriage they were related to a large number of Amsterdam Mennonite patrician families such as van Halmael, Block, van Beeck, Rutgers, van Gelder, Verhamme, de Wolff, van Lennep, Blaupot, de Clerck, Bierens; a small branch of this family lived at Haarlem in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The de Neufville family became very wealthy. Its first members in Holland were engaged in the textile trade, particularly silk. But in the early 18th century most of them were also bankers. Daniel de Neufville (Amsterdam 1643-1678) founded a bank at Amsterdam, which in the 18th century developed into one of the largest banking houses of western Europe. In 1763, when political circumstances caused its bankruptcy, more than 40 banks in Holland, Hamburg, and Berlin were also bankrupt. Other banking houses owned and carried on by members of this family in the 18th century were the world-known banking company of M. and J. de Neufville in London and that of Jean de Neufville at Amsterdam, with whom the newly independent United States of America in 1778 negotiated for a considerable loan. This loan, however, was never made and both Jean de Neufville and his son Leendert immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1785, where they lived in rather poor circumstances (N.N.B.Wb. VIII, 1211). The de Neufville family were loyal Mennonites. Many of its members served as deacons in Amsterdam and Haarlem.

To this family also belonged Christina Leonora de Neufville (1713-1781), a daughter of Leendert de Neufville (1677-1755), of Amsterdam, and Aleyda Oosterling (1683-1730), for her time a learned woman, deeply interested in philosophical, theological, and ethical questions. She cannot be called a poet, although she wrote her moralizing Bespiegelingen, voorgestelt in dichtkundige brieven (1741) in verse form. She was a member of the Mennonite congregation in Amsterdam, and made a generous contribution for the organ installed in the Lamist Singel church (Doopsgezinde Bijdragen 1863,24).

Of somewhat greater significance, though not outstanding, are Margaretha Jacoba de Neufville (1775-1856), a daughter of David Matheus van Gelder de Neufville (1751-1814) and Elisabeth Barnaart (1747-1794). The father and the entire family were members of the Mennonite Church in Amsterdam, but nevertheless he was also a city councillor, bailiff, and (during the Napoleonic domination of the Netherlands) assistant mayor of Amsterdam. His daughter had a physical disability and remained unmarried, preferring to live in seclusion on her parents' country estate near Haarlem, reading and writing. Her best work, De kjeine Pligten (2 vols., 1824), is a sequel to the novel by Elisabeth Wolff and A. Deken, and in moralizing letters depicts domestic and social life in Amsterdam in the French period. Besides several translations of stories, including some for children, she wrote two novels, De Schildknaap (1829) and Elisabeth Basmooth (2 vols., 1836). The first of these is important because it is the first attempt in modern Dutch literature to write a historical novel.


Boeser, P. A. A. Leven en Werken van Margaretha Jacoba de Neufville. Leiden, 1889.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 211 f.

Jaarboek Amstelodamum 39 (1942): 53.

Kalff, G. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Letterkunde. Groningen, 1910: VII, 132 f.

Molhuysen, P. C. and P. J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek. Leiden, 1911-1937: III, 910.

Nathusius-Neinstedt, Heinrich von, and Alfred von Neufville. Beiträge zur Geschichte des Hauses Neufville, Frankfurt, 1897.

Nederland's Patriciaat VI (1915), 275-278.

Neufville, A. C. de. Histoire généalogique de la maison de Neufville. Amsterdam, 1869.

Author(s) H. F. W. Jeltes
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Jeltes, H. F. W. and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Neufville, de, family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 2 Oct 2023.,_de,_family&oldid=141236.

APA style

Jeltes, H. F. W. and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1957). Neufville, de, family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 October 2023, from,_de,_family&oldid=141236.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 850-851. All rights reserved.

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